Page 205 - MODES of EXPLANATION

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Analogy is the compression down to the class of things defined by the model. While
metaphor has meaning, analog compression is about devices for making comparisons, the
compression carrying no particular meaning, just an analog equivalence. Experimentation
requires the analogic compression of the thing to be modeled down to the model system that
will be used in the experiment. In an experiment the compression goes both ways, from
model system to phenomenon and phenomenon to model system.
[insert Figure 8]
Figure 14.8
By relating the cells of Figure 14.7, we achieve a new matrix in which
the margins of the derived lattice are changes between narrative and model and vice
versa.
In Figure 14.8, metaphor and analogy are separately juxtaposed to the focus of the function
and the openness of the slack of the relation. When we perform an experiment – that is, we
implement a model – investigators start with their general impression of what is going on in
the slack narrative. Scientists then focus it down to an experiment, with its parameters fixed.
Experimentation is tied to the specifics of the function. Experiments do not tell us much,
because everything is set in very specific circumstances, but it is fairly clear what they are
telling us. So arrow 2 shows how the narrative goes to a model, as the analogy involved in
experimentation is applied. While the experimental result would on its face appear to be a
specific outcome, once it happens the discussion is hurled back into treatment of what the
result means for the narrative. The narrative is an open space with lots of slack in it. So arrow
3 takes the experimental result and indicates what it means for the narrative in the slack of the
function.
Analogy is clear in the observer’s experimental process; that is why we tied analogy
to the observer-controlled side. By contrast, the metaphor in Figure 14.7 can be applied to the
story and model of the biological or social thing under investigation. Remember that there are
two narratives and models, one on the side of the modeling process, and the other on the side
of the other possessed by the realized biosocial entity being addressed. As we apply metaphor
to relation, we see metaphor as belonging on the side of the other in the Zellmer diagrams.
The derived lattice from Figure 14.8 maps onto the cycles in the Zellmer diagrams in Figure
14.9. This opens up the possibility of mapping change from narrative to model and back
again onto the Zellmer scheme. Change appears different on the side of the other compared to
the side of observer decisions in modeling. Change on the side of observer control is as
discrete steps in an investigation. Scientists’ models are updated discretely to some new form.
Change on the side of the other, as perhaps through evolution, appears more continuous.
The experiment is done, and its result sits for a while. Then the narrative implications
of the result go back to the laboratory, where they spur a new experiment. There are two
separate sequential moves on the side of the observer: do experiment; use result. On the side
of the other, updating in nature appears as a new realization from the essence. The other is
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